Joint Statement during the State Visit of the President of Kenya to India (December 04-06, 2023)

December 05, 2023

1. At the invitation of the President of India H.E. Smt. Droupadi Murmu, the President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Hon. William Samoei Ruto, PhD, CGH, made a State Visit to India from 4 – 6 December, 2023. He was accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Cabinet Secretaries, senior Government officials and private sector representatives.

2. President Ruto was accorded the ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on 5th December 2023. He also visited Rajghat to pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi. President Droupadi Murmu will hold bilateral talks and host a banquet dinner in honour of President Ruto.

3. President William Ruto and H. E. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held official bilateral talks in a warm and cordial atmosphere. The two leaders discussed bilateral cooperation covering a wide range of areas of mutual interest. Both sides noted with satisfaction the existing level of close and friendly relations between the two countries. The leaders agreed that there is room for further deepening and strengthening of relations in strategic areas of common interest. Views were also exchanged on current regional and international issues of mutual interest.

4. President Ruto congratulated Prime Minister Modi for hosting a successful and historic G-20 Summit in Delhi. President Ruto thanked Prime Minister Modi for his leadership and support of the Indian Government for inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G-20.

5. Prime Minister Modi appreciated Kenya’s participation in both the editions of the Voice of Global South Summit, in particular President Ruto’s address in the inaugural Leaders’ Session in the second edition. The two editions were hosted by India in January and November 2023.

6. Prime Minister Modi also commended Kenya for the leadership on the issues of climate change and the successful hosting of the inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi in September, 2023.

7. The leaders agreed to strengthen bilateral relations. In pursuit of this goal, both leaders affirmed their commitment to work very closely in order to open up new areas of cooperation in various sectors for mutual benefit.

8. Recognizing the salience of maritime cooperation in India-Kenya relations and especially in the Indian Ocean, India and Kenya unveiled a "Joint Vision Statement on Maritime Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region- BAHARI (Ocean in Swahili)” as a blueprint for scaling up maritime engagement between the two countries.

Political relations

9. Both sides noted with satisfaction the existing solid and warm bilateral relations, including political engagement at the highest level, as well as convergences of views on regional and global issues.

10. It was noted that India and Kenya are maritime neighbours with a long history of trade and people-to-people linkages, thereby making Kenya a key partner in maritime security and blue economy matters which are part of India’s vision of Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR) as well as Kenya’s Vision 2030.

11. Both sides agreed to continue high-level political dialogue through the Joint Commission mechanism at the Foreign Ministers’ level and bilateral meetings between Leaders.

Trade and Investment

12. Acknowledging the vibrant and long-standing economic partnership between both countries, Prime Minister Modi and President Ruto recognized that there is potential for further upscaling of bilateral economic engagements. The two leaders resolved to enhance trade and investment ties and directed the bilateral Joint Trade Committee to convene at the earliest to discuss expansion of bilateral trade and investment, including impediments to market access, and elimination of non-tariff barriers.

13. The two Leaders welcomed the opening of the Indian market to Kenyan avocados as a positive step, and reaffirmed that greater access to products from both countries would diversify the bilateral trade basket. Both countries committed to discuss and facilitate trade between the two countries.

14. In furtherance of investment into Kenya, President Ruto invited Indian companies to take advantage of the conducive and attractive environment to invest in Kenya, especially in agriculture and value addition, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, health, ICT, green energy and green mobility, affordable housing, Water sectors, among others. President Ruto briefed Prime Minister Modi on Kenya’s national development priorities, as espoused in the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), which includes some of the above sectors.

15. Considering that healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors represent important areas of bilateral trade, both leaders discussed the possibility of facilitating increased Indian investments into Kenya in these sectors, including for development of health infrastructure and medical equipment production. This would greatly augment access to affordable healthcare for Kenyans.

16. President Ruto also discussed medical travel to India by Kenyans. It was agreed that a framework be discussed among relevant agencies from both sides in order for Kenyan patients to benefit from hospital treatment and outpatient care, including patients under critical care, access to specialized doctors’ reviews and access to medicines in a practical and sustainable manner.

17. The Kenyan side provided assurance to consider India’s request to recognize Indian Pharmacopeia as a supportive step in forging closer healthcare cooperation.

18. President Ruto will attend the India-Kenya Trade and Investment Forum on 5th December 2023 wherein he will deliver a keynote address. During the two-day visit, President Ruto will also meet with select business leaders of Indian companies.

Developmental Partnership

19. The Kenyan side thanked the Government of India for extending concessional Lines of Credit (LOC)for projects in sectors such as Energy and textiles, and in particular, small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

20. In supporting agriculture, one of the key pillars of the bilateral partnership, India agreed to extend a new LOC of USD 250 million to Government of Kenya for Agricultural Mechanization Projects in line with Kenya’s national development priorities.

21. In order to enhance bilateral trade and investment as well as development partnership projects’ financing, the two leaders discussed the need to use local currencies. To this end, the leaders directed relevant institutions to engage and conclude necessary instruments with a view to working towards development cooperation / project financing between India and Kenya in Indian Rupees.

22. The two sides agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture. In this respect, Kenya offered, in line with Kenyan laws, to provide land to Indian companies and institutions for cultivation of crops, including millets, in Kenya. The Government of India undertook to encourage Indian companies for investment in the sector, including in equipment and technology on mutually agreed terms. Both sides noted that enhancing bilateral agricultural cooperation would increase bilateral trade and contribute to food security in Kenya.

23. Both leaders exchanged views on the transformative potential of technology for people-centric delivery of services and the ensuing enhanced quality of life. The Kenyan side expressed interest to learn from India’s experience in Digital Public Infrastructure for realizing this potential, which is also aligned with BETA. The Indian side offered to share expertise with Kenya, as per Kenya’s needs, in sectors such as health, education, ICT and digital governance.

Capacity-Building and Education

24. Both leaders noted with satisfaction that in the last ten years, over 2000 people from Kenya have benefitted from India’s training and capacity-building programmes, including short courses and scholarships for civil servants, students and other professionals to study in premier institutions of India.

25. The Indian side announced the increase in slots of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholarships for higher education in India across all disciplines from 48 to 80 annually.

26. Both sides welcomed the collaboration between Indira Gandhi National Open University(IGNOU) and the newly established Open University of Kenya (OUK) to promote distance learning and technology applications in the field of education in Kenya.

Space Cooperation

27. Responding to Kenya’s interest in learning from India’s experience in space technology for peaceful purposes, Indian side agreed to share expertise with Kenya on space-based applications, including through specialized capacity-building and developing a geo-spatial information portal for Kenya with India’s remote sensing data sets and thematic layers.

Defence and Security Cooperation:

28. The two leaders noted with appreciation the increasing momentum in defence cooperation and affirmed their intention to further bolster it pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation concluded in 2016. The leaders also directed the bilateral Joint Defence Coordination Committee to convene at an early date. India also welcomed regular Kenyan participation in events and exhibitions such as the India-Africa Defence Dialogue, Aero-India and DEFEXPO.

29. The two sides also agreed to continue working towards expanding training exchanges, including deputation of Indian experts, in Kenyan defence institutions. Both sides also called for increasing cooperation between the defence industries, ship visits and periodic exchange of high-level visits from both sides.

30. Both sides also concurred on strengthening security cooperation, information and intelligence sharing and joint efforts in areas of counterterrorism, cyber security, and anti-money laundering, small arms and light weapons, drugs and human trafficking.

31. The two leaders also noted with appreciation the recently concluded MoU between Goa Shipyard Ltd and Kenya Shipyard Ltd that will pave the way for mutually beneficial commercial ventures and also support Kenyan interest in developing shipbuilding, repair, and maintenance capacities.

Maritime Cooperation

32. Acknowledging that both the countries have common interests in the Indian Ocean, both sides expressed satisfaction at their cooperation in the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and agreed to further enhance it to ensure a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Indian Ocean Region. The two leaders also agreed to developing a bilateral framework agreement in Blue Economy.

33. The leaders also agreed to the importance of enhancing maritime domain awareness through cooperation between Kenya maritime agencies and India’s IFC-IOR for collective security in the Indian Ocean Region.

34. Both sides also agreed to enhance cooperation in maritime security and to operationalize the sharing of white shipping information. India welcomed the regular participation of Kenya in maritime events and exercises in India, including its forthcoming participation in the next edition of the MILAN Exercise in 2024.

Environment, Climate Change & Renewable Energy

35. Both the leaders acknowledged that developing countries are the most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, and agreed to work together in this area of common interest as a matter of priority. Both leaders agreed that the consensus arrived at the COP 28 Summit in UAE should be implemented.

36. India offered to support training and capacity-building in the areas of clean and renewable energy transmission, grid integration and management, and energy efficiency. Both sides agreed to conclude, at the earliest, a bilateral framework of cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy.

37. India welcomed Kenya’s decision to join the International Solar Alliance and the Global Biofuels Alliance. The Indian side also looked forward to Kenya’s membership of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

38. As founding members of the International Big Cat Alliance, both sides agreed to work together to save and conserve the critical species of the endangered cats.

Global Issues and Multilateral Cooperation

39. Both leaders underscored that there are convergences between the two countries in international fora. The two leaders appreciated the close consultations and cooperation between India and Kenya in international fora on areas of common interest, including peace, security and development. Both sides also agreed to continue collaborating on the pressing need for reformed multilateralism.

40. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the coordination between the two sides in the UN Security Council in 2021-2022, when both countries served as non-permanent members of the UNSC, as well as at the mutual commitment in supporting each other’s candidatures in multilateral institutions.

41. President Ruto briefed Prime Minister Modi on regional peace and security especially the ongoing initiatives, including in the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia) and the Great Lakes Region where Kenya is involved. India agreed to support efforts to promote regional peace and security.

42. Both sides emphasized the urgent need for reform of the United Nations Security Council, in both permanent and non-permanent membership categories, to reflect the current realities and to make it credible, representative and effective. Both sides acknowledged the convergence of positions on the issue of UN Security Council reforms between the L.69 group and the African Union’s Committee of 10, including L.69 group’s support to the Common African Position as enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration. They agreed that close coordination between the L.69 group and Committee of 10, of which India and Kenya are members respectively, would amplify the voice of the Global South on this pressing issue.

43. Both sides noted that India and Kenya have been victims of international terrorism, which poses one of the biggest challenges for the world and requires all countries to join hands in overcoming this scourge. The two leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whenever, wherever, and by whom-so-ever committed and the use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism. They agreed that terrorism is one of the most serious threats to global peace, security and stability and must seriously be addressed. To this end, both leaders agreed that the two countries conclude a bilateral cooperation framework to enable security agencies to work together on terrorism matters and transnational organized crime issues.

44. On United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), India agreed to support the United Nations Secretary General Proposals to increase UNON’s budgetary allocation for modernization and rehabilitation of the facilities to be at par with other United Nations Offices in Europe and America and equally ensure UNON hosts meetings / activities like the other UN Offices.

People-to-People Contacts

45. Both sides noted that people-to-people contacts, which date back centuries, provide foundational strength to the historic India-Kenya ties. Both sides noted with appreciation the role of the Indian-origin Kenyan community in the society and economy of Kenya and in further reinforcing the friendship between the two countries.

46. Both sides appreciated the renewal of the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) for 2023-27 which will facilitate thriving cultural exchanges.

47. President Ruto expressed his gratitude to the President and Prime Minister of India for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him and his delegation. He also extended an invitation to the Prime Minister to visit Kenya at mutual convenience.

48. Prime Minister Modi thanked President Ruto and his delegation for visiting India and wished him good health and prosperity for the friendly people of the Republic of Kenya.

New Delhi
December 5, 2023

Annexure A: List of Outcomes

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